CORE (Case Management, Outreach, Referral, and Education)

About This Program

Target Population: Families and children (ages 0-19 years) in transition, such as those who are living in homeless shelters, temporary or doubled-up housing situations, or in foster care situations; the caregivers may be related or not, young or old

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 19

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 19

Program Overview

The CORE program targets families with children (ages 0-19 years) in transition such as those who are living in homeless shelters, temporary or doubled-up housing situations, or in foster care situations. The purpose is to improve the stability and well-being for children and families by providing a wide range of wrap-around services to improve conditions that place children and families living in transition at-risk for health, social, psychological, and safety concerns. The CORE program helps families with: coordination of medical care for their children; identification of resources that will facilitate family function and stability including counseling; support with recovery from substance abuse; and referral and assistance with completing housing applications.

Program Goals

The program representative did not provide information about the program’s goals.

Essential Components

The essential components of CORE (Case Management, Outreach, Referral, Education) include:

  • Overview:
    • Provides a wide range of mental health and case management services to families in transition
    • Focuses on finding a solution to the client’s problems
    • Embraces elements from several philosophies including social justice, cultural responsiveness, family preservation, and public health
    • Provides wrap-around services that are informed by the disciplines of mental health, social service, and psychology
  • Eligibility:
    • At least one child, age birth to 19, in the family
    • Family in transition; defined as living in temporary accommodations including homeless shelters, transitional housing, in doubled-up circumstances where one family lives with another due to the inability to pay for their own place, or foster care or group homes
  • Services offered:
    • Parenting Assistance
    • Life Skills (e.g., money management)
    • School Interventions
    • Relapse Prevention
    • Referral to Ongoing Services
    • Family Communication Building
    • Housing Information & Referral
    • Self-Management of Attitudes and Behavior
    • Safety Planning
    • Concrete and Advocacy Services

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

CORE (Case Management, Outreach, Referral, and Education) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Behavioral concerns and past trauma from impoverished environments or instability, including placement into foster care

Parent/Caregiver Services

CORE (Case Management, Outreach, Referral, and Education) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Depression and different levels of recovery from substance abuse problems

Recommended Intensity:

Frequency of client contact may range from three times per week to one time a month. Some contacts may be only 15 minutes long to provide a referral or obtain some basic information; other contacts may be three hours long.

Recommended Duration:

Very individualized services are provided so program duration varies based on family need.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Foster/Kinship Care
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • School


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • One or two play-therapy rooms onsite
  • Staff of Master's level social worker and doctorally prepared psychologists averaging more than five years of experience with underserved families
  • Access to offsite locations

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Therapists: Master's or doctorate level with experience working with underserved families.
  • Supervisors: Licensed social worker or psychologist.

Education and Training Resources

There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
Training is obtained:

Onsite orientation

Number of days/hours:

Informal consultation

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for CORE (Case Management, Outreach, Referral, and Education).

Additional References

Zlotnick, C., Robertson, M. J., & Wright, M. (1999). The impact of childhood foster care and other out-of-home placement on homeless women and their children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23(11),1057-68.

Zlotnick, C., Hilton, N., & Ricketson, C. (1999). The impact of case management on the immunization status of a high risk pediatric population. Oakland, CA: CVC-Children's Hospital Oakland.

Contact Information

Cheryl Zlotnick, RN, DrPH
Agency/Affiliation: Center for the Vulnerable Child (CVC), Children's Hospital & Research Center, Oakland
Phone: (510) 428-3783
Fax: (510) 601-3913

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2007

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2007